Today's Reading: Table of Duties: Children, Ephesians 6:1-3
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.” (Table of Duties, Children: Ephesians 6:1-3)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. God has blessed His creation such that from parents comes everyone who serves in the church and society. God has ordered the world in such a way that life begins in the house with father and mother then walks out the front door and into the whole creation. All those who serve their neighbor, in church and in everyday life are simply continuing the work of parents under the Fourth Commandment.
In the church—our spiritual mother—our spiritual fathers (our pastors) rule and govern us through God's Word. On the other hand, in society God sets all kinds of men and women in vocations that protect, govern, and order what is first taught and done by parents for their children in the home.
Finally, the Gospel force of Paul's admonition, which he's grounding in the Fourth Commandment, is that when children honor their parents God Himself meets them. It's His command, He has spoken, and there's no better word on the subject. By honoring our parents it will be well with us and we will be freed to live long on the earth. This is the added certainty of works which faith produces through us.
We can delight in honoring our parents because by faith in Christ's perfect sacrifice for our sins we can be certain that all our works are pleasing to God and heaven is open to us. And even when we despise or anger our parents and other authorities we have a heavenly Father who will listen when we confess our lack of love and respect for our earthly parents, and just as a father listens to his dear children, God will hear us, strengthen and encourage us through the Gospel, and grant us forgiveness, life, and eternal salvation through Jesus Christ.
Our Father, who from heav'n above Bids all of us to live in love As members of one family And pray to You in unity, Teach us no thoughtless words to say But from our inmost hearts to pray. (LSB 766:1)
Registration for the 2013 Higher Things Conferences, From Above, is now open! Register today at fromabove2013.org.
Questions or comments regarding the Reflections may be sent to the Rev. Mark Buetow, Reflections Editor, firstname.lastname@example.org.